Sunday, May 21, 2017

Teacher Loan Forgiveness Programs

Have you been teaching Special Education full-time in a low income Title I school for at least five consecutive years and owe student loans?? If you answered yes, then you'll want to read on to find out how I got $17,500 written off of my loan balance! 

If you were highly qualified in the area that you taught in, your employment was full-time, your five years were consecutive, your account is not in default, and you accrued your loan balance after October 1, 1998, then there is a good chance you may be eligible too.  


I was found eligible and had $17,500 taken off of my loan! I've read about many teachers that have not received the forgiveness and question as to whether anyone gets it. But it happened to me! I got it! It seems one of the biggest reasons for rejection is that employment was not consecutive. So if you've taken a break in employment, you will most likely not be eligible, because the program is designed to "keep" teachers in the field. If you meet all of the requirements above, then you need to apply!

If you feel you meet the requirements and may be eligible, you can download the application and eligibility requirements here. Applying is super easy! Just complete the first two pages of the application, have your principal sign it, and mail it to your loan holder. This is whoever you send your payments to each month.  

After ten years of continuous service, Public Service Loan Forgiveness is another option that will write off the entire remaining balance! Have you heard of it? I am about to close out my 10th year of teaching, so I was super excited to finally be able to apply for the PSLF (Public Service Loan Forgiveness) Program.

However, after doing my homework recently on the PSLF Program, I found that this program might be a little too good to be true...at least for me! Not only does it require 10 years of service, it requires 10 years of qualifying payments. So in order to qualify, you have to have made 120 payments on your eligible loan(s) after October 1, 2007. So because it takes 10 years to qualify, no one has ever received this forgiveness yet, with the first candidates becoming eligible in October of this year (2017).  

If you meet these requirements, then good for you! You may be eligible in October to have all of your loans forgiven. You can read more about the PSLF Program and eligibility requirements here

Although I won't be eligible for the PSLF any time soon, I am thankful for the five year loan forgiveness program I was granted and want to make sure that other teachers are aware of these programs and take advantage of them! 

Did you know about these programs or have you applied for any teacher loan forgiveness programs?


SPEDtacular Sunday Freebies Link Up

Welcome to SPEDtacular Sunday Freebies!! Every Sunday I host this freebie link up here on my blog for Special Education Teachers! Visit every week to download free resources for your classroom! If this is your first time visiting, you can access all of the freebies from previous link ups by clicking on "SPEDtacular Sunday Freebies" under "My Files" on my right sidebar. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

If you're a TPT seller, blogger, or resource creator, I invite you to link up and share your own freebie using the link up tool below! 


Link Up Rules

1. All resources must be FREE! It can be free for the day, but please delete your link once you mark it back to paid.
2. Your freebie may link to your blog or store.
3. Freebie does not have to be related specifically to SPED, but should be practical for SPED.
4. If you are linking up from your blog, using this image in your post and linking back to my blog is not required, but is greatly appreciated! Be sure to share this image on your social media so others can see your freebie!

*I recommend using an image of your freebie & not your button when linking up. 

 Feel free to share the image above all over your social media to let other teachers know about these freebies! 

The link up tool will close on Saturday each week, but "forever" freebies will remain accessible! Come back every Sunday to link up or download new freebies!

Thanks for dropping by!


Sunday, May 14, 2017

SPEDtacular Sunday Freebies Link Up

Welcome to SPEDtacular Sunday Freebies!! Every Sunday I host this freebie link up here on my blog for Special Education Teachers! Visit every week to download free resources for your classroom! If this is your first time visiting, you can access all of the freebies from previous link ups by clicking on "SPEDtacular Sunday Freebies" under "My Files" on my right sidebar. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

If you're a TPT seller, blogger, or resource creator, I invite you to link up and share your own freebie using the link up tool below! 


Link Up Rules

1. All resources must be FREE! It can be free for the day, but please delete your link once you mark it back to paid.
2. Your freebie may link to your blog or store.
3. Freebie does not have to be related specifically to SPED, but should be practical for SPED.
4. If you are linking up from your blog, using this image in your post and linking back to my blog is not required, but is greatly appreciated! Be sure to share this image on your social media so others can see your freebie!

*I recommend using an image of your freebie & not your button when linking up. 

 Feel free to share the image above all over your social media to let other teachers know about these freebies! 

The link up tool will close on Saturday each week, but "forever" freebies will remain accessible! Come back every Sunday to link up or download new freebies!

Thanks for dropping by!


Monday, May 8, 2017

WE LOVE TEACHERS GIVEAWAY!


Happy Teacher Appreciation, Week #2!! Many people were confused this year about whether TA Week was this week or last week and many celebrated last week. But I'm sure you don't mind being spoiled two weeks in a row! 

So I've teamed up with six of my special education teacher friends to show you some appreciation LOVE!!! All seven of us are giving away a $20 store credit to spend in our TPT stores to one lucky teacher! That's $140 worth of free resources to use now or get you off to a great start for next year! 

Use the rafflecopter below to enter!!! Thanks for all you do for our students each and every day. It's not always easy, but you do make a difference! Good luck and we hope you have a great week!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

BEHAVIOR BASICS in a Nutshell

Frustrated with behaviors? Need some guidance?Last month my principal asked me to put together a presentation to help general Ed teachers at my school manage and deal with behaviors in their classrooms. I could easily spend an entire day presenting on behaviors, but I was only given 1 hour to present! So I put together the most important tips and strategies that would be the most helpful for teachers into what I call, "Behavior Basics in a Nutshell."

I'm sharing it here today as I know that many of you will also appreciate and benefit from this information. There's also a link at the end where you can download the presentation and share with your staff.
I have left the 504 plans and RTI behavior referral process slides out of this post as this will look different at each school.  


You can download the A-B-C Chart here!

I cannot say it enough, finding the FUNCTION is SOOOO crucial! I so often see teachers "feeding the behavior," because they don't know the function! For instance, if we have a child that is misbehaving to avoid completing his work and we place him in a timeout each time, we have given him what he wants. He got out of doing his work and not only is he happy now, he will engage in this behavior every day now when he wants to get out of doing his work. You can view the video link above here.  

These are just a few of the most commonly used, but not limited to.

Another common mistake I see frequently. Sometimes you have to pick your own battles. If they're not hurting anyone or anything, Ignore it! Provide positive reinforcement to the students that are behaving. This is especially important if the function of their behavior is to seek attention like the video we watched. Also, reinforcement needs to be given immediately, even if it's a token, a high five, or a skittle, to prolong that BIG reinforcer! I too often hear teachers when I ask how they're reinforcing the student for good behavior say, "If they behave or complete their work all week I give them a prize on Friday." NOOO! This doesn't work!

Find out what the student likes and only allow it contingent upon good behavior! I don't have a strict "no toys allowed at school" policy. I actually like it when my students bring toys to school. The minute they arrive, I immediately take the toy and use it as a reinforcer that day.

Be careful not to bribe. Bribery is when a student is already engaging in an inappropriate behavior and you say, "If you stop doing this, I'll give you this." 

Consistency and strong classroom management is KEY! Sometimes, even though not natural for teachers to do, you have to set academics aside and focus on the behavior alone!

You can download the point sheet that some of my students use in specials (art, PE, music, library) here.


You can read more about self-monitoring and download the self-monitoring tools I most frequently use in my classroom here.


Baby steps! Most of these children experiencing behaviors in our classrooms live in a punitive and negative world. We must provide set them up for success!

You can download this presentation here. Feel free to share with your staff and fellow teachers as well. As I said in the beginning of this post, I could spend an entire day, probably even two days discussing behavioral practices in the classroom! While this is only a brief overview, I hope you found these Behavior Basics helpful! Feel free to post any questions you may have about these tips and strategies in the comments and I can provide you with more direction!

If you're looking for more in depth behavioral support, I offer a comprehensive behavioral toolbox here that provides detailed step-by-step information on each of these slides and is packed full of token boards, charts, and everything you'll need to get you started with shaping behaviors in your classroom! 


And BTW, Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! Scroll down to my next post and enter the Teacher Appreciation Giveaway!